Makers of supernatural claims have an inescapable burden of proof. Many thanks to Jolulipa for Spanish closed captions: http://www.youtube.com/user/jolulipa
Fantastic in its brevity and eloquence. The part where it says 'there is no debate' rings especially true (and very familiar).
From my profile:
Crackpot: God exists! Me: Evidence, please. Crackpot: There is none. Me: I don't believe you. That's all it is. The rest is just the crackpot employing some bit of dishonesty to obfuscate or deny it. He'll shift the burden of evidence onto me. ("Prove God doesn't exist!"). He'll claim to have evidence when he does not. ("Lookee here! Purely abstract mathematics! That's evidence!"). He'll say he doesn't need evidence. ("God is too big for evidence!") He'll completely ignore the request for evidence and won't respond at all. (This is very popular.) He'll restate the request for evidence as an accusation or insult. ("You hate God!" "How dare you question my faith!") He'll pin God to ignorance. ("You can't explain X so God is the only explanation!") And on and on and on. Anything but evidence. There is no case to be made for the existence of God. There is nothing to debate, nothing to consider: no evidence, no data, not a shred of the scientific whatsoever. The rest is just the outraged caterwauling of the crackpot, desperately insisting that any such "debate" over God exists at all. That is why I am an atheist.
The study of theology, as it stands in the Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on no principles; it proceeds by no authority; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing; and it admits of no conclusion.
Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason.
During my Philosophy major days, I wrote two papers, one concerning the classical proofs for the 'existence' of 'god', and an evaluation for the positivists model for the sciences.
All of the classical proofs for the existence of god were found to be false via propositional calculus. Pascal's Wager even has a falt where the 'choice' to 'believe' has the same result as the 'choice' to 'disbelieve'.
The positivists model has a falt where there might be a class of 'objects', that exist, but offer no means of proof. I expect that this just implies that, if such a class 'existed' this would show where the need/demand for evidence could fail. I expect such a 'class' is emthy, with no members, but 'knowing' this could be premature.
In hindsight, this all might imply a cognitive 'hole', past which we are either limited by evidence or new suppositions/hypothesis. Within this 'hole' could be many/all of unfounded/unsubstantiated beliefs, hopes, bad cognition, etc. The concept of 'god/s', bigfoot, aliens, lockness monster, soul, time travel, etc could rest inside this hole, and often times are attractive to dreamers, fools, idealists, and thinkatheist 'snake charmers' and 'get the atheist' debaters.
As the sciences push on the horizen of this 'hole', it may not smaller, but deepen our mysterys and understanding of ourselves.
Very good James...of course as Kant would have said..."existence is not a predicate" but lets not go there..lol
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